Tuesday 19 January 2016

Saint Dunchadh Ua Brain of Clonmacnoise, January 19

January 19 is an alternative feast day for Saint Dunchadh Ua Braoin, a tenth-century Abbot of Clonmacnoise, whose death whilst on pilgrimage in Armagh was recorded in the Irish Annals. The date of his repose and thus of his feast day is given as January 19 in Pádraig Ó Riain's 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints, but Canon O'Hanlon is convinced that the date should be January 16:

Reputed Festival of St. Duncadh Ua Brain, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, Anchorite, and Pilgrim. 

[Tenth Century]  

It is more than probable, at the 16th day of this month, the Natalis of this holy man was observed.  But in a table, post-fixed to the Martyrology of Donegal, as published by Drs. Todd and Reeves, a commentator on the original MS. has inserted within brackets, and in its proper alphabetical place, the following entry, thus rendered into English: [" Duncadh Ua Brain died 19th Jan., 970; according to the Hagiogenesis he was of the race of Maine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages."] We may therefore take it for granted, this holy anchorite was venerated as a saint by all who knew him.

Note: Canon O'Hanlon's much fuller account of the saint from January 16 can be read here.

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